The Ultimate Guide to Your Australian Work and Holiday Visa for Singaporeans

G’day! Many have been asking me about the process to obtain the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462) to Australia so I’ve decided to write this post with a step-by-step guide. It is quite a straightforward process, and as long as you meet ALL the requirements stated in the Australian Embassy website, you have a high chance of getting your visa! Take note that there are only 500 places every year for Singaporeans.

I will not be covering on why you should go for this Work and Holiday Visa, as I can go on forever on this. Each and everyone of you will have your own reasons why that sound in the back of your mind is screaming ‘Yes, I just HAVE to apply for this working holiday!’. This visa is a great opportunity for those who want to travel, and at the same time legally be able to work and earn to support yourself. It will definitely allow you to gain insights to the lifestyle and culture of Australia, and you will probably return with a different, fresh and new perspective of everyday life. Personally, I got to know about the working holiday visa (WHV) even before my graduation from college and the only place for Singaporeans on a WHV was New Zealand. And when the golden opportunity for a WHV appeared in August to a favourite country of mine – Aussie, I jumped at that opportunity.

So now, this is an ultimate guide for you out there to obtain that Work and Holiday Visa to Australia for an adventure of a lifetime!

These websites below will be your best friend. All the information that you need are all here, and please do your own research as well! I find the FAQs at the embassy site pretty useful, but if you still have enquiries you can contact the VFS helpline at 6224 1732 or email them. They will reply to your queries pretty quick, albeit short answers.

  1. Australian Government DIBP https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/462-
  2. VFS Singapore http://www.vfsglobal.com/australia/singapore/
  3. Information on panel physicians and police checks http://www.border.gov.au/Lega/Lega/Help/Location/singapore

I think the most important thing is to ensure you have all the necessary documentations for your application, and that all the requirements are met. The following below are the requirements, from the Australian DIBP website:

  • are at least 18 but have not turned 31 years of age at the time you lodge your application
  • have a valid passport from a country involved in the Work and Holiday program with Australia
  • will not have a dependent child with you while you are in Australia
  • have enough money to support yourself on a working holiday (about AUD 5000)
  • have enough money to buy a return or onward travel ticket at the end of your stay
  • have not previously entered Australia on a Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) – take note that 417 and 462 are different
  • meet character and health requirements
  • are a genuine visitor.
  • meet the educational requirements
  • have functional English

So did you meet all the criteria? SWEET! Next, find out when is the next opening window for applications. The application window opens quarterly. For this year, the first round of application was on 1 August 2017, and the second one opened in 2 October 2017, and next on 2 January 2018!

This is the general flow of your WHV application.

  1. Preparation of documents, forms and payment

Fill up your Form 1208, prepare ALL your necessary documents and set aside the application fee of 440AUD (SGD 484) and another SGD45 for biometrics fee. Below are the documents that you will need (taken from the Australian Government DIBP site). You will also need to print a “checklist” that you can find on the site, and ensure that you have all of the documents required before you attend your appointment.

  1. Booking an appointment on the VFS Singapore website

On the application day, go to VFS Singapore website at http://www.vfsglobal.com/australia/singapore/index.html  and register for a new account. You can do this before the application window opens. Then, book an appointment on your preferred date. You can book a slot from the following day and there are only 4 slots per day when I applied (8AM, 9AM, 10AM, 11AM).

  1. Attend the appointment that you have booked on the VFS website

Ensure all your forms, documents and payment are ready on the day of your appointment. You will also need to bring your original passport, NRIC and birth certificate (if you want). You don’t have to arrive there too early, otherwise you will have to wait till 10 minutes before your appointment time. The VFS staff there will go through with you all the documents, one by one. After making your payment of application fee and biometrics fee, you will then take your biometrics in another room. *Please take note that NETS is not available, so you can only bring cash! This whole process only takes 15 minutes of less, after you take your biometrics, you’re done!

  1. Go for a health check-up at one of the approved clinics

You will receive an email for the embassy to inform you to go for your health check-up and obtain your COC (see point 5). I received the email the day after my VFS appointment, booked an appointment with SATA Commhealth Medical Centre at Ang Mo Kio, and went for my check-up. It consists of a general health examination and chest X-ray and costs about $150-$200 (I can’t remember the exact amount again). If you can attend the morning slot, it will be slightly cheaper. Once you are done with the check-up, you won’t need to submit anything, as the clinic will submit the health report to the embassy.

Here are the approved panel physicians (from DIBP website)

  • SATA Commhealth Ang Mo Kio Medical Centre (6244 6688)
  • SATA Commhealth Bedok Medical Centre
  • Point Medical Group (6235 2343)
  • Radlink Diagnostic Imaging Pte Ltd (6836 0808)
  1. Book and attend a slot at Singapore Police Force to get your Certificate of Clearance (COC)

This step will take the longest! But don’t worry, patience is virtue. 😀 Book a slot at the website here and make payment of $55 to obtain your COC. For some people, you may have to wait one month before there is an available slot. Again (yes more bookings and appointments) attend your slot to take your fingerprints, and you may receive your COC. Otherwise, you have to go down to SPF again to collect your COC.

Once you have your COC, you will need to submit the original COC to either the Australia Embassy in Singapore at 25 Napier Road (24-hour drop-off box), VFS office or mail it. You’re almost there!

For enquiries pertaining to this, you can contact them at SPF_CID_COC@spf.gov.sg or call them.

  1. Wait for your email from the Aussie Embassy with your Work and Holiday Visa! 😀

Visa processing time is about 12 to 30 days. Others may get it earlier, or later. And for some people, the Aussie Embassy may email you to request for further evidence or documentations, or even an interview. I’ve received information that if you studied in Australia before, you may need an extra Police Check from Australia, which takes about two weeks.

To recap, these are the fees needed for the overall application.

Application Fee AUD440 / $484
Biometrics Fee $45
Medical health-check up About $150
Certificate of Clearance application $55
Total $734

So what’s next?

Once you’ve obtained your visa letter, congratulations! Your next step is to decide when you want to embark on your adventure, as the WHV lasts for one year. Also, this visa is an electronic one, and multi-entry, meaning you are allowed to enter and leave Australia as many times as you like, until your visa expires. If you’ve obtained your visa, you can email me your number and I will add you to the WHV to Aussie for Singaporeans WhatsApp group to share tips and help each other out etc! I’m also in the WHV to NZ for Singaporeans WhatsApp group, and the members really share informative tips, facts, job opening, selling of their cars in NZ and many can ask questions there. There is also a Facebook group which you can join here.

In my next few posts, I will be covering on what you need to do before you fly and essentially how to start planning for your trip! This will entail health insurance (very important!), research for jobs, packing your backpack, what you need to do when you arrive (TFN number, Bank account, SIM card, superannuation) and yessss….cars. Can’t wait for the day when I purchase my very first car (bucket list).

Thanks for reading. See you at the other side and happy travels! x

Disclaimer: I will definitely try my best to provide up-to-date information, and reliance upon the information provided by this website is solely at your own risk.

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37 Comments

  1. Hello Amira,

    Thanks for the very informative post!

    Can I know how did you print your name behind the photographs? And how long did it take you to get the visa (from the day you attended the appointment)?

    Hope to hear from you soon!!! 🙂

    Cheers,
    Lily

    1. Hi Lily! You just need to write your name at the back of the photo. Th visa processing time according to the embassy website, is usually 12-30 days. I got my visa in about 2 weeks. The embassy may also request for further documents if required, and this may delay the processing time. Hope this helps. 🙂
      Cheers!

  2. Hi Amira,
    just to confirm.. so the 1st step is to apply to book an appt under Point 2, via the VFS website.. at this stage no documents are needed right?

    only once u get the appt then the personal documents are necessary right? hope to hear from you soon. Many Thanks 🙂

    ps: i find your article more explicit than from VFS website. 😉

    1. Hi Mabel! Yes, when you book an appointment at the VFS website, you don’t need any documents. You will only need them when you attend the appointment. Hope this helps 🙂
      Cheers!

  3. Hi Amira,
    Even though the visa is valid for one year, we can extend one more year if we work seasonal job for more than 3 months right ?

    1. Hi Lee, yup! If you work in these industries (plant and animal cultivation, fishing and pearling, tree farming and felling, tourism and hospitality) for 3 months/88days you can apply for a second year visa. Popular work includes fruit picking and farming. You need to take note of the approved postcodes (Northern Territory, Qld and WA) too, as we are under visa subclass 462.
      Cheers!

  4. Hi,
    How long did it take u to receive your COC once u have your fingerprint taken?Do u get it instantly or have to wait few days? And before u got your appointment for the fingerprinting, how many weeks do u wait for available slot after your medical checkup?

    1. Hi June, usually you have to wait for a few days for your COC where you will be notified via email/call, but I’ve also heard that some received their COC after their fingerprints were taken.

      For medical check up, no fingerprinting is required. It is only required to get your COC.

      I got an available slot for my medical check up on the same day I called to book the appointment, so I think you don’t need to wait very long for an available slot. As for COC appointment, it may take days up to a couple of weeks, depending on availability.

      Hope it helps. Good luck!

  5. Hi Amira, for fuctional english test, what document is needed? can we photocopy secondary education cert? or NTU Degree cert?

    1. Hi Eunice, nope we don’t need any supporting documents from the government, unless the embassy emails you to request for it. Hope it helps, cheers

    1. Hi Claire, I’m not in a position to reply your question but I think it may be possible.You can email the embassy or VFS for clarification. Hope it helps, cheers

  6. Hi! Do you know the next released date? Saw that appointments were last released on 2 Jan 2018, but there are still available appt dates in March. Not sure if it means lower chance of getting the visa if I apply later than the initial date? Also, may i check if the one year validity will start when I receive the visa or when I step into Australia? Thank you!

    1. Hi Ian, the next released date will be known on the VFS website in the next quarter. It doesn’t lower your chances, because as long as you meet the requirements for the visa, you will get it.
      And yup, the one year visa starts when you step into Aussie. Hope it helps! Cheers 😀

  7. Hi Amira,

    just wanted to check if a health insurance is needed to apply for WHV? I’ve got an appointment next week and that is the only thing that is confusing me at the moment.thank you(:

    cheers
    Shaa

    1. Hi Sha, nope it is not required at the point of application. At the immigrations, they didn’t even check mine. But of course, you should defo get a travel or health insurance before coming to Aussie as healthcare here is crazy expensive. Hope it helps, cheers!

  8. Hi thanks for such an informative post. May I ask how did you proof that you have sufficient fund for a return air ticket? Is it possible if I can use my bank statement for proof to have enough money to support yourself on a working holiday (about AUD 5000)and also to proof that I
    have enough money to buy a return or onward travel ticket?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Priscilla, that’s right. I have two bank accounts, so I showed from one bank account to prove that I have AUD5000, and the other bank account to show that I have enough funds for a return ticket. However, one bank statement should be sufficient. Hope it helps, cheers!

  9. Hi, I’d just like to ask. After sending in all the documents, including having done the health check and police certificates and assuming everything is approved, did you have to go back to the Australian Embassy again to have them affix a visa to your passport or something like that? What is the after approval process like if any? I’m planning to go overseas for a long holiday and am worried that it will be approved while I’m not here in Singapore.

    1. Hi Evie, nope I didn’t have to go back again to affix any visa, it is an electronic visa. So after your appointment day and approval (you will be notified via email), there’s nothing that you need to do on your end. 🙂 Cheers

  10. Hi! Thanks for the informative post! Just wanna clarify, do u pay both the visa fee and biometric fee on the day of ur appointment?

  11. Hi, Anyone planning to head to Aussie on WHV around July/August period? Let me know and perhaps we can discuss and head over there together if timing clicks! =)

  12. hi there,

    how do i go about securing a job? should i apply for the work holiday visa first and then find a job? or should i find a job first and then apply for visa?

    what if i didnt manage to find a job after the approval of my visa, so it is a waste of my money to apply for visa since there’s no guarantee that you will find a job? 🙁

    thankyou!

    1. Hey Sarah,
      You don’t have to worry about securing a job in Australia, there will always be opportunities. If you have decided to apply for the visa, I’d advise to get it approved first and then search for a job. There are plenty of recruitment agencies all over the country and they can help you source for a job, just keep in mind that summer time is a good time to get a job. Job market will be slower during winter. Hope it helps!

  13. Hi, I have read that we are able to submit our health declaration prior the application through the ImmiAccount. Does that mean that the health check at the panel are then not required?

    1. Hi Winnie, I think it could be easier if you go for your health check after your application! I won’t be able to advise you on submitting it prior to the application, you could give VFS Singapore a call or drop them an email instead 🙂

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